(1/560) Facilitatory beta2-adrenoceptors on cholinergic and adrenergic nerve endings of the guinea pig trachea.

Using electrical field stimulation of epithelium-denuded intact guinea pig tracheal tube preparations, we studied the presence and role of prejunctional beta2-adrenoceptors by measuring evoked endogenous acetylcholine (ACh) and norepinephrine (NE) release directly. Analysis of ACh and NE was through two HPLC systems with electrochemical detection. Electrical field stimulation (150 mA, 0.8 ms, 16 Hz, 5 min, biphasic pulses) released 29.1 +/- 2.5 pmol ACh/g tissue and 70.2 +/- 6.2 pmol NE/g tissue. Preincubation for 15 min with the selective beta2-adrenoceptor agonist fenoterol (1 microM) increased both ACh and NE overflow to 178 +/- 28 (P < 0.01) and 165 +/- 12% (P < 0.01), respectively, of control values, increases that were abolished completely by the selective beta2-adrenoceptor antagonist ICI-118551 (1 microM). Further experiments with increasing fenoterol concentrations (0.1-100 microM) and different preincubation periods (1, 5, and 15 min) showed a strong and concentration-dependent facilitation of NE release, with maximum response levels decreasing (from nearly 5-fold to only 2.5-fold of control value) with increasing agonist contact time. In contrast, sensitivity of facilitatory beta2-adrenoceptors on cholinergic nerves to fenoterol gradually increased when the incubation period was prolonged; in addition, a bell-shaped concentration-response relationship was found at 15 min of preincubation. Fenoterol concentration-response relationships (15-min agonist preincubation) in the presence of atropine and yohimbine (1 microM each) were similar in the case of NE release, but in the case of ACh release, the bell shape was lost. The results indicate a differential capacity and response time profile of facilitatory prejunctional beta2-adrenoceptors on adrenergic and cholinergic nerve terminals in the guinea pig trachea and suggest that the receptors on adrenergic nerves are more susceptible to desensitization.  (+info)

(2/560) Mediators of anaphylaxis but not activated neutrophils augment cholinergic responses of equine small airways.

Neutrophilic inflammation in small airways (SA) and bronchospasm mediated via muscarinic receptors are features of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in horses (COPD). Histamine, serotonin, and leukotrienes (LTs) are reported to be involved in the exacerbation of COPD, and currently, histamine has been shown to increase tension response to electrical field simulation (EFS) in equine SA. We tested the effects of these mediators and the effects of activated neutrophils on the cholinergic responses in SA. Histamine, serotonin, and LTD4 had a synergistic effect on EFS responses and only an additive effect on the tension response to exogenous ACh or methacholine. Atropine and TTX entirely eliminated the EFS-induced tension response in the presence of all three inflammatory mediators, indicating that augmentation of the EFS response applies only to the endogenous cholinergic response. Neutrophils isolated from control and COPD-affected horses were activated by zymosan, producing 18.1 +/- 2.3 and 25.0 +/- 2.3 nmol superoxide. 10(6) cells-1. 30 min-1, respectively. However, in contrast to the profound effect of mediators, incubation of SA for over 1 h in a suspension of up to 30 x 10(6) zymosan-treated neutrophils/ml did not significantly affect EFS responses of SA isolated from either control or COPD-affected horses. We conclude that in equine SA 1) the endogenous cholinergic responses are subject to strong facilitation by inflammatory mediators; 2) activated neutrophils do not affect cholinergic responses in SA; and 3) in acute bouts of equine COPD, histamine, LTD4, and serotonin (mediators primarily associated with type I allergic reaction) rather than mediators derived from neutrophils most likely contribute to increased cholinergic airway tone.  (+info)

(3/560) The cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease: a review of progress.

Alzheimer's disease is one of the most common causes of mental deterioration in elderly people, accounting for around 50%-60% of the overall cases of dementia among persons over 65 years of age. The past two decades have witnessed a considerable research effort directed towards discovering the cause of Alzheimer's disease with the ultimate hope of developing safe and effective pharmacological treatments. This article examines the existing scientific applicability of the original cholinergic hypothesis of Alzheimer's disease by describing the biochemical and histopathological changes of neurotransmitter markers that occur in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's disease both at postmortem and neurosurgical cerebral biopsy and the behavioural consequences of cholinomimetic drugs and cholinergic lesions. Such studies have resulted in the discovery of an association between a decline in learning and memory, and a deficit in excitatory amino acid (EAA) neurotransmission, together with important roles for the cholinergic system in attentional processing and as a modulator of EAA neurotransmission. Accordingly, although there is presently no "cure" for Alzheimer's disease, a large number of potential therapeutic interventions have emerged that are designed to correct loss of presynaptic cholinergic function. A few of these compounds have confirmed efficacy in delaying the deterioration of symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, a valuable treatment target considering the progressive nature of the disease. Indeed, three compounds have received European approval for the treatment of the cognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, first tacrine and more recently, donepezil and rivastigmine, all of which are cholinesterase inhibitors.  (+info)

(4/560) Neurogenic vasoconstriction as affected by cholinergic and nitroxidergic nerves in dog ciliary and ophthalmic arteries.

PURPOSE: To determine the involvement of noradrenergic and other vasoconstrictor nerves in the contraction of ocular arteries and the modification by cholinergic and nitroxidergic nerves of vasoconstrictor nerve function. METHODS: Changes in isometric tension were recorded in helical strips of the canine posterior ciliary and external ophthalmic arteries denuded of the endothelium, which were stimulated by transmurally applied electrical pulses (5 Hz). Vasoconstrictor mediators were analyzed by pharmacological antagonists, such as prazosin, alpha,beta-methylene ATP, a P2alpha-purinoceptor antagonist, and BIBP3226, a neuropeptide Y receptor antagonist. RESULTS: Transmural electrical stimulation produced contractions that were potentiated by N(G)-nitro-L-arginine (L-NA), a nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor. The contraction was partially inhibited by prazosin and abolished by combined treatment with alpha,beta-methylene ATP but was not influenced by BIBP3226. Stimulation-induced contraction was attenuated by physostigmine and potentiated by atropine. Contractions induced by exogenous ATP were reversed to relaxations by alpha,beta-methylene ATP. In the strips treated with L-NA, prazosin, and alpha,beta-methylene ATP, the addition of L-arginine elicited relaxations by nerve stimulation. The ATP-induced relaxation was attenuated by aminophylline, whereas neurogenic relaxation was unaffected. CONCLUSIONS: Ciliary and ophthalmic arterial contractions by nerve stimulation are mediated by norepinephrine and ATP, which stimulate alpha1-adrenoceptor and P2X purinoceptor, respectively. ATP from the nerve is unlikely involved in vasodilatation. Acetylcholine derived from the nerve impairs the neurogenic contraction, possibly by interfering with the release of vasoconstrictor transmitters, and neurogenic NO also inhibits the contraction postjunctionally by physiological antagonism.  (+info)

(5/560) Comparison of cholinergic and histaminergic axons in the lateral geniculate complex of the macaque monkey.

The cholinergic and histaminergic projections have important neuromodulatory functions in the ascending visual pathways, so we compared the pattern and mode of innervation of the two projections in the lateral geniculate complex (dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus and pregeniculate nucleus) of the macaque monkey. Brain tissue from macaques was immunoreacted by means of antibodies to choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) or to histamine and processed for light and electron microscopy. A dense plexus of thin, highly branched ChAT-immunoreactive axons laden with varicosities was found in all layers of the dLGN including the koniocellular laminae and in the pregeniculate nucleus. ChAT label was more dense in magnocellular layers 1 and 2 than in parvocellular layers 3-6 and relatively sparse in the interlaminar zones. Varicosities associated with the cholinergic axons had an average of three conventional asymmetric synapses per varicosity, and these appeared to contact dendrites of both thalamocortical cells and interneurons. Histamine-immunoreactive axons were distributed homogeneously throughout all laminar and interlaminar zones of the dLGN, but were denser in the pregeniculate nucleus than in the dLGN. Histaminergic axons branched infrequently and were typically larger in caliber than cholinergic axons. The overwhelming majority of varicosities were found en passant and rarely displayed conventional synapses, despite the abundance of synaptic vesicles, and were not associated preferentially with specific cellular structures. The innervation of the macaque dLGN complex by cholinergic and histaminergic systems is consistent with their proposed role in state dependent modulation of thalamic activity. The dense and highly synaptic innervation by cholinergic axons supports the proposal of additional involvement of these axons in functions related to eye movements.  (+info)

(6/560) Glutamate is a fast excitatory transmitter at some buccal neuromuscular synapses in Aplysia.

Studies of the modulation of synaptic transmission in buccal muscle of Aplysia were limited because the conventional fast transmitter used by a number of large buccal motor neurons was unknown. Most of the identified buccal motor neurons are cholinergic because they synthesize acetylcholine (ACh) and their excitatory junction potentials (EJPs) are blocked by the cholinergic antagonist hexamethonium. However, three large identified motor neurons (B3, B6, and B38) do not synthesize ACh and their EJPs are not inhibited by hexamethonium. To identify the fast excitatory transmitter used by these noncholinergic motor neurons, we surveyed putative transmitters for their ability to evoke contractions. Of the noncholinergic transmitters tested, glutamate was the most effective at evoking contractions. The pharmacology of the putative glutamate receptor is different from previously characterized glutamate receptors in that glutamate agonists and antagonists previously used to classify glutamate receptors had little effect in this system. In addition, glutamate itself was the most effective agent tested at reducing EJPs evoked by the noncholinergic motor neurons presumably by desensitizing glutamate receptors. Finally, immunocytology using an antiserum raised to conjugated glutamate in parallel with intracellular fills indicated that the varicose axons of these motor neurons were glutamate-immunoreactive. Taken together, these results indicate that the fast transmitter used by the noncholinergic neurons is almost certainly glutamate itself. This information should help us understand the role of transmitters and cotransmitters in the generation of feeding behaviors in Aplysia.  (+info)

(7/560) Intracisternal PYY increases gastric mucosal resistance: role of cholinergic, CGRP, and NO pathways.

The influence of intracisternal injection of peptide YY (PYY) on gastric lesions induced by ethanol was studied in urethan-anesthetized rats. Gastric lesions covered 15-22% of the corpus as monitored 1 h after intragastric administration of 45% ethanol (5 ml/kg) in intracisternal vehicle control groups. PYY, at doses of 23, 47, or 117 pmol 30 min before ethanol, decreased gastric lesions by 27%, 63%, and 59%, respectively. Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) receptor antisense oligodeoxynucleotide pretreatment (intracisternally, 48 and 24 h before intracisternal PYY) did not influence the gastroprotective effect of intracisternal PYY (47 pmol) but abolished that of intracisternal TRH analog RX-77368 (4 pmol). RX-77368 (2.6 pmol) and PYY (6 pmol) were ineffective when injected intracisternally alone but reduced ethanol lesions by 44% when injected simultaneously. Atropine (subcutaneously), the calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonist CGRP-(8-37) (intravenously), or the nitric oxide (NO) synthase inhibitor N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, intravenously) completely abolished the gastroprotective effect of intracisternal PYY (47 pmol), whereas indomethacin (intraperitoneally) had no effect. The L-NAME action was reversed by L-arginine but not by D-arginine (intravenously). These results suggest that intracisternal PYY acts independently of medullary TRH to decrease ethanol-induced gastric lesions. The PYY action involves vagal cholinergic-mediated CGRP/NO protective mechanisms.  (+info)

(8/560) Age-associated neuronal atrophy occurs in the primate brain and is reversible by growth factor gene therapy.

The effects of normal aging on the primate brain are incompletely understood. Although both human and nonhuman primates demonstrate clear functional declines in selective attention, "executive" functions, and some components of declarative memory with aging, most studies have failed to demonstrate extensive neuronal atrophy or loss as a substrate for these degenerative changes in primates. In particular, extensive age-related neuronal loss in memory-related brain regions such as the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex has not been found. However, it is possible that neuronal loss or atrophy might occur in subcortical nuclei that modulate the activity of neocortical regions, thereby accounting for altered cognitive function with aging. In the present study, we describe, to our knowledge for the first time, a significant and extensive decline in the number and size of immunolabeled neurons in subcortical cholinergic basal forebrain regions of aged rhesus monkeys, the best animal model of human aging, by using stereological methods. Notably, the loss of subcortical cholinergic neuronal markers in aged monkeys was nearly completely reversed by human nerve growth factor gene delivery. These findings (i) identify reversible cellular atrophy as a potential mechanism contributing to age-related cognitive decline in primates, (ii) suggest, when considered with other studies, that subcortical brain regions exhibit greater vulnerability to the effects of aging than cortical regions, and (iii) indicate that neurotrophin gene transfer may be an effective means of preventing neuronal atrophy or degeneration in age-related neurodegenerative disorders.  (+info)